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Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

What Is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

To begin, it is critical that we remove any misconceptions concerning Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). People sometimes confuse BDD with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - though there are resemblances (obsessive thoughts), OCD is more than just obsessive concerns about physical looks. Likewise, eating disorders like Anorexia and Bulimia are frequently confused with BDD; however, BDD patients are worried about more than just their weight. Nevertheless, the majority of these beliefs revolve around the individual's vanity. BDD is not a disorder in which the person is obsessed with how beautiful they are, but rather a mental condition linked to how the individual views their appearance and, as such, is frequently a self-esteem issue. What makes these two distinct? Since the person suffering from BDD has a completely warped perception of a real or imagined problem in their looks, and it is this disordered way of thinking that causes their erroneous ideas. The person's irrational thoughts about their looks subsequently develop to an obsessive fixation with the bodily part(s) involved. It may include obsessive thoughts and/or practices that cause severe distress to the person and frequently disturb everyday functioning. The patient considers their physical look to be awful or disgusting; yet, it is vital to recognize that their idea of an 'ideal' image is frequently not too far from their actual self.


Body Dysmorphic Disorder can have a negative impact on all areas of a person's life, including their ability to find work or keep the job they currently have. It can also have an impact on the person's relationships, leaving them with feelings of shame, guilt, and loneliness.

  • Typical Symptoms Include:

  • They have the impression that their face is asymmetrical or that their body shape is out of proportion.

  • Going to great measures to cover or hide the area(s) of their body that they find unattractive.

  • Having to check themselves in the mirror or other reflective surfaces, and if unable to check, will still have a number of recurrent thoughts about the area.

  • When looking in the mirror and spending a lot of time in front of it, one may feel stuck and unable to move. Alternatively, avoidance of the mirror.

  • Negatively discussing their region of discontent in social circumstances in order to gain reassurance.

  • Making comparisons with models, celebrities, acquaintances, or even strangers.

  • Trying hard to escape bright lights, getting their pictures clicked, and people viewing them from specific angles.

  • Despite doctors telling them that nothing has to be 'fixed,' they seek surgery to address their issue.

  • A dry mouth.

  • Flushes of heat.

  • Hands that are cold or sweaty.

  • Breathlessness or palpitations of the heart.

  • Panic, fear, and apprehension are frequent emotions.

  • Having difficulty sleeping.

  • Muscular tension.

  • Suffering from a recurring uncomfortable stomach.

Causes Of Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder has no one cause; however, genetics, brain chemistry, a background of other diseases such as depression or social phobia, stress, and environment all have a role.

What Are the Treatment Options for Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

First and foremost, a psychological evaluation by a Psychologist/Psychotherapist or Psychiatrist is required. In case you are diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, you will have several alternatives - varying from person to person. Antidepressants, as well as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Psychotherapy, can be beneficial. Both of these are 'talking therapies,' that entail having to learn how to channel unpleasant sensations and thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. In addition to talking therapies, you may be required to participate in Behavioral Therapy, which is completing a series of tasks with the goal of reducing the quantity of negative actions you conduct on a regular basis.

If left untreated, people with BDD could experience depression, self-harm, or even substance abuse problems. However, keep in mind that BDD affects at least 1-5 percent of the population, so if you've been diagnosed, you're not alone.


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